Meet Alex: Assistant Manager, Advisory | KPMG | BM

Our People: Alex Garbiak

Meet Alex Garbiak

Meet Alex: Assistant Manager, Advisory

Fitness fanatic and travel enthusiast

Meet Alex

I started my accountancy career with KPMG Birmingham in the UK back in October 2011 where I trained to obtain my ACA designation. I joined the KPMG Bermuda office in October 2014 after qualifying as a chartered accountant. Both personal and professional reasons factored into my decision to move to KPMG in Bermuda. On the personal front, the weather, travel opportunities, beaches and general island lifestyle were immensely appealing. From the professional side, there is an un-paralleled access to industry experts in the reinsurance industry which I wouldn’t get in New York or London.

As I was already working for KPMG in the UK, I wanted to continue working in a familiar working environment. KPMG in Bermuda is one of the top professional services firms on the island and is rightly recognized as so. I enjoy working at the firm due to the people I work with every day. The managers are very knowledgeable and a great inspiration. I have quickly made good friends with my co-workers and feel that I am working in a great team environment whereby everyone wants to help each other to enhance their career.

My role as an auditor on (re)insurance clients led to many discussions with the actuaries responsible for setting the loss reserves for a natural catastrophic event such as Hurricane Matthew or understanding the prolonged adverse development of US asbestos claims despite being commonly excluded in policies since 1985. In April 2015 I took advantage of an internal secondment opportunity to work with the actuarial team here at KPMG Bermuda. I really enjoyed this new role and opted to make it permanent and with the support of KPMG Bermuda I am progressing through the UK actuarial exams. My focus is split into two domains: audit support and as a consultant in an advisory capacity. In audit support I will act as an actuarial specialist on audit engagements to opine on the reasonableness of the carried loss reserves. The consultancy projects we work on at KPMG Bermuda have a very wide scope, recent projects include an IFRS 9 implementation project for a bank (credit risk modelling) and being retained as advisors for a number of total return vehicles. Being part of the KPMG network we regularly work and discuss ideas with our colleagues in the US, UK, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and many other regions.

I am also enjoying the island lifestyle. Nothing is very far away compared to
living in a big city. Bermuda is a very social island so there is lots going on throughout the year. Whatever you enjoy doing as a hobby there is sure to be other people you will meet who also share that interest.

My advice to anyone who is interested in making a move to Bermuda is to take a risk and reap the rewards. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made to come here. Not only from a career perspective but also on a personal level. You will gain a vast amount of technical and commercial experience in a short space of time which will prove invaluable for your future wherever that takes you. On top of this, the island offers a fantastic array of recreational activities that you truly can’t appreciate without being on the island. 

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